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Protecting Virtual Meetings and Classrooms from Hijackers

WEINER LAWInsightsProtecting Virtual Meetings and Classrooms from Hijackers
Client Update: COVID-19 Information
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COVID-19 Web Meetings

As the use of teleconferencing has increased, the FBI has received numerous reports of so-called “Zoombombing,” in which teleconferences on the virtual platform Zoom have been hijacked by individuals projecting obscene images or spewing hateful language. In order to protect your virtual meetings or classrooms, we recommend that your platform should have the security features outlined below. In the event you have specific questions or concerns about your virtual platform, please contact our office for additional guidance.

1. End-to-End Encryption

End-to-end encryption is used to prevent third parties from accessing data in an understandable form. When data is transmitted between users, no one, including the service provider itself, can access the unencrypted content. End-to-end encryption is important because it protects sensitive information, such as student information, from hackers.

2. Control Access

Virtual meetings or classrooms should never be public, unless required by the Open Public Meetings Act. To better control access, many platforms have security features such as requiring participants to enter a password in order to join and/or a “waiting room” feature in which participants can be prescreened before being allowed to join. Additionally, lock features should be utilized to prevent others from joining after the meeting or class begins.

3. Screen Sharing Control

Screen sharing enables other participants to control the screen. To prevent other participants from taking control of the screen, hosts should restrict participants from controlling the screen. In the event the virtual meeting or class requires participants to share over the screen, access should only be granted to one participant at a time.

4. Muting and Video Disenabling Features

Any platform used to conduct virtual meetings or classes should allow hosts to disenable the audio and video connections of participants. These features are essential for blocking any inappropriate language and/or visuals from participants.

5. “Kick Out” Features

To manage any instance in which an unwanted participant has been able to enter the virtual meeting or classroom, there must be a disconnect feature. Although most platforms enable a host to disconnect everyone, it is recommended that your platform be able to remove participant on a group or individual basis.

6. Software Updates

Finally, you should always ensure your platform’s software is up to date. Software updates are critical because they often help to patch security flaws and improve security features. Having the most up to date software will also improve functionality and performance.

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